What Does ‘Preparing for Divorce Before the Wedding’ Mean?
Every engaged and newly-married couple should do everything they can to not only try to prevent divorce, but also plan for it with the same amount of effort that is typically put into planning a wedding and honeymoon. Still, not enough people plan their financial future, develop a prenuptial agreement, or select a financial advisor to do so. Financial issues are the second leading cause of divorce. As a result, having the “money talk” and setting up financial goals can help set a couple’s economic future off on the right foot. Still, not enough people do that.
Keeping Impeccable Records
Take, for example, married individuals who end up having to prove that an asset was their separate property acquired before marriage. Proving this can be difficult unless complete records have been maintained from the outside; especially since banks are only required to keep these records for seven years. In fact, one’s ability to keep impeccable records is usually a deal maker or breaker. Take, for example, a $16 million brokerage account, which was opened before the marriage: If you save every brokerage statement and paperwork related to investment returns, you will be better able to prove that a valuable asset like this is separate property.
Keep Separate Property Separate
You will also need to prove that your separate property is not commingled with marital assets; doing so usually ensures that that property is subject to division upon divorce. As a result, a couple should always open up new accounts for their marital funds in order to keep things separate. Also, do not, for example, use marital funds to pay the mortgage, maintenance and/or property taxes on separate property, or else it becomes marital property. And what might surprise you the most is that management of a separate account in a marriage can become a marital account under some circumstances. As a result, you should always work with an attorney to make sure that everything is kept as it should be. Your attorney should also work with you to make sure that you are as active as possible so that your assets are not hidden or spent without your knowledge.
A Prenuptial Always Makes Sense
As you have probably heard before, establishing a prenuptial agreement is an obvious necessity. This is not just for couples with significant assets, but everyone; simply to establish clear financial boundaries and address debt, student loans, etc. as well. A prenup can get very specific about how for example debt twill be addressed in marriage, and whether and under what circumstances it becomes marital liability, etc. Prenups can also address family heirlooms and really anything else you can peacefully address before marriage instead of costing thousands of dollars after marriage during a divorce.
Our Florida Family Law Attorney Can Help
Contact our West Palm Beach divorce lawyer at the office of William Wallshein, P.A. to find out how we can help ensure that you are protected as possible if you are entering into a marriage or in the process of getting divorced.